The only member of the Brooklyn Nine-Nine cast to receive an Emmy nomination for its first season was Andre Braugher. However, one could argue that Braugher was not the only deserving member of his cast to earn that berth. Five episodes into the sophomore season though, Braugher is even funnier than the rest of his precinct, and that solo mention at the Emmys feels especially appropriate. The issue is, while the writers have found the right way to continually surprise us with the actor each week, the show’s second season has been an uneven batch of episodes, one more akin to a first season that is trying to figure out its tone and characters.
“The Mole” is focused predominantly on Braugher’s character’s woe, even giving Cpt. Holt an eloquent “woe is me”-like soliloquy that could ensure this is the episode FOX submits for his Emmy nomination. He feels undermined by Deputy Chief Wuntch, his old rival, for not making any headway with the drug task force. He feels threatened by the presence of an internal affairs lieutenant (played by Veep’s Dan Bakkedahl) who is sniffing out the presence of a possible mole in the precinct. He feels like Wuntch’s witchhunt (of sorts) is an attack on his character and integrity, and he will do whatever it takes to get rid of this woe.
Luckily, the answer to solving that happens to be much easier than a man of his chivalry and articulation would probably like, which is somewhat lazy and somewhat amusing. However, one cannot help but be electrified every moment that the oily-voiced Cpt. Holt appears onscreen, scrutinizing sentences and trying to make connections about the precinct mole in his pajamas, a bedtime wardrobe with his initials stitched on them. (The ‘J’ stands for Jacob, by the way.) With the Emmy-winning actor at the helm, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a treat, as he can show off his intellect without turning pompous or overbearing. Cpt. Holt’s wit is inherent to who he is, and thankfully, the show’s writers are smart enough to get inside the man’s head and figure out his deductive, analytical thinking in ways that still allow for riotous humor.
The other big player on the show stage who one suspects will receive more hype toward an Emmy nomination next summer is Chelsea Peretti, as one of television’s most prim procrastinators. When Gina holds the floor at the end, to bring the pesky subplot about her fling with Charles into public knowledge, she can command the attention just as well as her captain. Thankfully, this storyline that reeked of sitcom trappings – i.e., the synchronized yelling between Jake, Amy, Gina and Charles when the former two walked in on the latter two – is now kaput. Perhaps Peretti and Lo Truglio will have more satisfying affairs (story-wise and romantically) ahead.